Field hockey treks up to Boston

The field hockey team is coming off its most impressive weekend in recent memory, and a bus trip to Boston might just be the ticket to keep the momentum rolling.

The Elis (3-8, 2-1 Ivy) make the hike up I-95 this weekend to face Harvard (1-10, 1-2 Ivy) on Saturday, followed by Boston University (7-4) on Sunday. Coming off a 3-1 triumph against Dartmouth and impressive play against No. 6 North Carolina in their last two games, the Bulldogs will look for their third Ivy victory against the Crimson.

Harvard has struggled so far this season, and picked up its first victory against Cornell, 1-0, in overtime last Sunday. The Crimson previously lost to Penn, 2-0, on Sept. 9 and dropped a 1-0 decision to Brown on September 23.

While the Elis defeated Harvard, 1-0, last year, that win would end up being their only Ivy victory. Although their present record may be more impressive, players said they try not to make comparisons.

“We don’t really think about it that way,” Rachel Lentz ’07 said. “We’re a different team than we were last year.”

In that showdown, Katie Rivkin ’06 scored the game winner off an assist from captain Heather Orrico ’07. Harvard outshot Yale 5-1, but strong defensive play by the Elis contained the Cantab offense through the first half. The Bulldogs finished with nine shots to the Crimson’s four in the second half and were able to hold their archrivals scoreless.

Junior back Devon Shapiro and senior forward Gretchen Fuller lead Harvard in scoring with two goals apiece so far this season, followed by senior midfielder Aline Brown, who has a goal and two assists. The Crimson have been outscored 24-7 by their opponents in 11 games this season and outshot 152-60. Harvard goalkeeper Kelly Knoche has a .786 save percentage and 66 saves.

Orrico said the Bulldogs are starting to see the fruits of their tough non-league games pay off as they face key Ivy action.

“Although our schedule was hard in the beginning it has definitely prepared us for in-league competition,” she said. “Our goal and focus right now is winning the rest of our Ivy League games and hopefully becoming first or second in the Ivies.”

Although BU lost four of their first five games this season, they are currently on a five game winning streak. While most of these victories have been by two goals or less, they include a 9-0 rout of University of Maryland Baltimore County last weekend. The Terriers meet Vermont in conference action on the road on Saturday before returning to Jack Barry Field the following afternoon to take on the Bulldogs.

BU’s offense is anchored by junior forward Sarah Shute, who was named the America East Player of the Week this week after tallying the second hat trick of her career in the win over UMBC. Shute leads her team with nine goals and 22 points this season. Terrier goalkeeper Erin Predinger enters the weekend with an impressive average of 1.36 goals allowed and 32 saves in 770 minutes of action.

Goalkeeper Charlotte Goins ’10, who was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week for her play against UNC, said Yale head coach Pam Stuper has told her players to be on the attack this weekend like they were against Dartmouth.

“She said we need to get them to shake in their boots,” Goins said. “We’ve had really good practices since our losses to Sacred Heart and Holy Cross. It’s finally cooking for us, and hopefully that will continue.

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